Friday, July 5, 2024

Antarctica 2023 ✈ Day 8: Pleneau • Petermann Island • Kayaking

Antarctica had always felt like a distant and unreachable bucket list destination, not just because of its geographical location, but more so because it is so expensive. Honestly, I never thought it'd be possible for me to check off this bucket list item but we decided to make this trip happen and celebrated our 10th anniversary with an extraordinary adventure to the end of the earth - Antarctica! I am so grateful for the opportunity to finally step foot on my 7th continent and to experience this incredible journey with our moms.

13D12N Antarctica Cruise - Oceanwide Basecamp Expedition
3 December 2023: Port Lockroy & Damoy Point
4 December 2023: Cuverville Island
5-7 December 2023: Drake Passage & Disembarkation

2 December 2023 (Sat): Day 8 - Pleneau & Petermann Island

Our 5th full day in Antarctica was action-packed starting off with kayaking in the morning and wrapping up the day with an outdoor BBQ. 

Another day of buffet breakfast with a view at 7am. Yayyy for instant noodles...haha!

Our kayaking outfit, which includes all kayaking gear provided by Oceanwide. So what did we wear? Personal items: Base layer top & bottoms, socks, fleece,  ear muff/hat, gloves, sunglasses. Specialist equipment (provided by Oceanwide):  Wetsuit, outer shell jacket, buoyancy aid, boots.

Boarded the zodiac with our kayaking guide, Matt. A seaman took us and the kayaks to our kayak location. Each kayaking session has about 20 people, with 2 sessions a day. All guests had the opportunity to kayak with no extra charges. 

Hubby and I each paired up with our moms thinking that we could help the moms if necessary but it didn't quite work out for me tring to take photos/videos as I couldn't paddle and take photos at the same time. Hence, mom and I encountered several navigational challenges when I was too focused taking videos/photos.

The kayaking guides also helped to take photos, which include some of the nicer ones above.

We kayaked to a penguin colony and it was fun to see penguins swimming all around us. The kayaking activity lasted for about an hour and it was time to return to the ship. Glad to be able to experience kayaking in Antarctica!

Buffet lunch with a view at 12pm. We got ice cream for dessert, which matches well with the misty iceberg sceneries.

Afternoon landing at Petermann Island at 2.15pm.

The landing site required a good bit of hiking/walking and it was a lil' more challenging as we didn't have a snowshoe, and would sink into the snow if we weren't on the right path.

The expedition team chartered a route, guiding us through Adelie and Gentoo penguin rookeries. We literally spent an hour entertained by penguins tumbling and falling. They are so cute and clumsy!

The backdrop of towering glaciers and mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula added an awe-inspiring dimension to our observations.

Swapped over with the other group for our zodiac cruise at 3.30pm. Anthonie was our expedition guide for this zodiac cruise.

Spotted a few Weddell seals. They are my favorite seal coz they look cute and don't eat penguins. :P P.S. The one in the right photo looks!

Spotted penguins on the rocks and captured some funny clips of the penguins (see video above).

Cruised through some icebergs before wrapping up our zodiac cruise at 4.30pm.

Gathered in the lounge at 6.15pm for the daily recap. Looks like another good weather day tomorrow.

We were then invited to the outer deck 5 at 7pm for a special BBQ dinner with all the staff.

Even though it was cold sitting outside, it was pretty cool to be surrounded by icebergs while enjoying the meal. The outdoor dinner was followed by a dance party which continued through the night. 

Few more profiles of the expedition guides.

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